Posted 01 April 2007 - 05:06 PM
I knew a couple in Colorado, a struggling young couple, and the wife wanted to be a writer of some kind. She tried a lot of things, her idea of being a writer was something she could do at home and make enough money so they wouldn't have to worry and she'd be makig a living at something she liked and feel good about what she did. Pretty common kind of dream or plan - I guess - but she did it.She wrote a romance novel after many trys at other things and it hit, bigtime for a genre work, number 1 on the Romance best seller lists. (I guess the NY Times has all kinds of lists) and suddenly she was "famous." She had months of book signings, was flying all over the country and meeting all these people who thought they knew her because of the work, had all sorts of expectations about what she should be like and thought they had the right to her time, her attention, whatever they wanted. After a while, she said, she didn't know who she was, anymore. Started hating the fans, ended up in a years-long depression, never wrote another book.All she wanted was to stay at home in the quiet and do work she enjoyed and get paid for it. The fame part just about killed her. My daughter was watching some poker with me one day and saw Chris Fergusen get busted out of a tournament and as he left the table he was waylaid by fans wanting autographs. My daughter said, "Man, I'd hate to be famous." Problem with fame is, you can't complain about it; people think you have a lot of nerve whining about the result of success. 'Course, they haven't been there. I wonder what it's like for a poker player, someone who started before the BigBoom, before the hole camera, before anyone outside of the game knew who the heck Doyle Brunson was - to suddenly have every hand they play reported on, analyzed, scrutinized, criticized and deconstructed? What if you just loved to do something and found out you could get paid for it - and then, suddenly - you had to do it in, for and by the PUBLIC?I think my friend was a little naive, not thinking about what success as a writer might mean, but what if you just liked to....I dunno, fish or fix old cars or cook or something - play poker maybe, and all of a sudden......Man, I'm glad I'm not famous.
When truth is nothing but the truth, its unnatural, it's an abstraction that resembles nothing in the real world. - Aldous Huxley